After a slip-and-fall accident, it is not uncommon for clients to ask us how much compensation they can expect to receive. Unfortunately, there is no easy answer when it comes to calculating the average injury payout. Each case is unique. Your damages all depend on the severity of your injuries and the total economic and non-economic costs. In addition to pain and suffering, being unable to work may cause you and your family untold financial stress.
Slip-and-fall accidents that happen on another person’s property fall under the category of premises liability claims. This means that the owner of the property can be held responsible for causing your injuries. The problem is that the burden is on your shoulders to prove the other party is truly liable before you can collect. An experienced personal injury attorney can do the work for you so you can focus on making a full recovery.
What Is Considered to Be a Slip-and-Fall Accident?
Slips, trips, and falls can happen anywhere, anytime, regardless of current conditions. These can happen at work or on someone else’s property and cause devastating injuries. Slips and falls are accidental in nature and never intentional.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health shares the following distinctions between types of falls:
- Tripping can involve catching your foot on something
- Slipping happens when you lose your balance, mainly on slippery surfaces
- Falling can happen in combination with a slip or trip and forces you to hit the floor or ground suddenly
Call Judd Shaw Injury Law today if you have been injured in a slip-and-fall accident. We can help you get the compensation you deserve.
What Are the Costs of Slip-and-Fall Accidents?
According to the CDC, the average stay at a hospital after a slip-and-fall costs between $10,000 and $40,000. On average, non-fatal fall injuries cost the country $50 billion annually. These accidents can be unexpected and happen suddenly. If you are unprepared for a fall, the consequences can wreak havoc on your life.
In New Jersey, falls among older adults cost $1.394 billion annually. Adults over 65 find themselves bearing the brunt of these costs as their injuries can be more severe. 1 in 4 older adults report falling each year. 37 percent of these falls result in some type of harm, totaling 8 million injuries among older Americans annually.
Slip and Fall Cases Fall Under Premises Liability Law
You might believe most slip-and-fall incidents happen at work or on a job site. They can also happen on any other person’s private property.
If you walk to your neighbor’s house and fall, you may be able to sue him or her for damages incurred. But there is still one condition that must be met to move forward with the legal process.
As a plaintiff, you must prove that the other party acted negligently when their inappropriate behavior or lack of reasonable action resulted in your injuries. New Jersey examines liability in all cases to determine whether someone can sue for compensation. Lawyers may ask if the defendant could have acted reasonably to prevent the incident from occurring on their property.
One main question will be whether the other party makes a reasonable effort to maintain their property. This may involve regular maintenance and repairs or warning of potential dangers that are not yet fixed. Putting up a sign and cones around the hazardous area will go a long way in protecting others and shows that reasonable effort was taken.
Common Causes of Slip-and-Fall Accidents
New Jersey is a busy state with densely populated areas that can be ripe for slip-and-fall accidents. The state also has the second-largest transit system in the country. With so many people riding buses, subways, and trains, there are plenty of places where slips and falls can happen.
Common hazards that can lead to slip and fall injuries include:
- Slippery platforms
- Icy sidewalks, driveways, and parking lots
- Broken floor tiles
- Unmarked steps
- Lack of lighting
- Falling debris
- Missing handrails
The Status of the Injured Person Is Important
Every slip-and-fall incident is different. You may want to sue for compensation, but where you fell, how you fell, and your relationship with the property owner will matter in your case. Here is a list of statuses to consider before pursuing a claim for damages.
Business invitee status
If a property owner starts a business, he or she may open that property to the public. Visitors can exchange goods and/or services for money, benefiting the property owner. This means the owner has a duty to protect those who step foot on the property. Any hazards to the public’s health must be handled right away.
For example, you walk into a store where a custodian just finished mopping up a spill. The floor is going to be wet and slippery. If the custodian did not put up a sign warning of wet floors and you fall, you might have a case. The same is true if the property owner fails to keep the sidewalks and entryway of his or her establishment free of ice and snow in the winter.
A licensee is someone who is given legal permission to enter private property. One example of a licensee would be a contractor or maintenance serviceman given the right to work there. The space may be closed to the public, so they are not a typical invitee.
As such, the property owner is not expected to inspect the property for problems, but the duty to warn licensees of any dangers that might be present still stands.
Licensees can also be social guests invited over, but the same rules apply.
Trespassers do not have the legal right to be on someone’s property. A trespasser likely entered illegally and thus does not have the same rights as the person invited. A property owner does not usually owe the same high level of care for a trespasser, nor does he or she have to warn of impending dangers that are specific to trespassers.
A trespasser’s main protection, though, is that the property owner is not free to inflict intentional, reckless, or malicious harm.
What Types of Compensation Can a Slip-and-Fall Victim Receive in New Jersey?
The first step of the claims process is determining your status as a property visitor. Were you a licensee, business invitee, or trespasser?
If your case qualifies, your attorney will go to work to make a fair settlement. The offer you want to accept will be determined by the damage caused by your slip-and-fall. Were your injuries severe and will they continue to impact your life, or did you recover right away? What losses did you incur?
Some of the types of compensation you can receive after a slip-and-fall accident include:
- Lost wages
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Property damage (if applicable)
Call Judd Shaw Injury Law to Receive Damages After Your Slip-and-Fall
You may have fallen a hundred times as a kid but wound up with nothing more than scraped knees. As you get older, though, your body can become more fragile. For adults and the elderly, slip-and-fall accidents can be devastating. Injuries from these incidents can nag you for the rest of your life, but you do not deserve to be incapacitated due to another person’s negligence.
You have the right to seek compensation for your injuries. Call Judd Shaw Injury Law today for tough legal representation. Our team of experienced attorneys will never back down from a fight. Defending your rights will always be our top priority. We do things the Judd Shaw Way, which ensures that we focus on serving our clients while working through a set of core values you too can trust.
You can contact us by dialing (866) 909-6894. We are available 24/7 for your convenience. Even our No Fee Guarantee® is there to give you peace of mind without being forced to spend a dime during this difficult time.